Wednesday, April 20, 2011
REWIND: Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives Review
The sixth film in the Friday the 13th series is one of my personal favorites. The film is about Tommy (made famous in the previous effort “A New Beginning” by Corey Feldman), who wants to incinerate Jason’s body so that he can never be brought back again. In the process a lightning bolt hits the grave and resurrects Jason!
Tommy runs to the police and tries to convince them that Jason is at it again, but they don’t believe him and they try to run him out of town. Meanwhile, a new camp is being set up by a bunch of inexperienced people and Jason is on the loose. He starts to kill people left and right, meanwhile Tommy is put into jail and things get out of control fast in this slasher film from 1986.
This movie is an easy one to watch. The film quality is not half bad, and the movie doesn’t pretend to be anything more than it is; a slasher film featuring Jason Voorhees. The budget on this film was 3 million dollars and it grossed 19 million dollars, so it was a great success for Paramount films back in the mid 80’s and rightfully so. The actors in this film actually try harder than most films that land straight to dvd these days. There are laughable situations, however there are moments where you really believe the emotion that is thrown at you via the actor’s portrayals of different characters.
On an interesting sidenote, this film was produced by Don Behrns. You might not know him very well and to tell you the truth, I don’t know him all that well either. However, I was in high school and on the Varsity Football team and we had a football party of sorts, where at the end of the season we has a bbq. It was held at the house of Don Behrns in Santa Monica, California. He was very nice and I told him I loved horror in which case he showed me the original script for this film alongside an original Jason Mask. It was surreal indeed, and he told me all kinds of cool stuff about movies and the making of this film. He’s a strange dude, that’s all I can say about that. His house was nice though. Maybe that’s why I have an affinity for this film. I don’t know.
Here is a trailer for Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives:
This movie still holds up and with 86 minutes, goes through standard Friday the 13th fare without complicated the script with odds and ends. That might be it’s ultimate failure, it seems like a rehashing of other Friday the 13th films and really doesn’t do a whole lot to separate itself from the 5 other films that have already made its way into American screens at this point. Even with a horrible storyline, and laughable sex crazed people, this movie still finds a way to entertain and it’s relegated to a notch above a popcorn flick in my opinion.
Why it’s scary: The movie itself is somewhat laughable now. I don’t even know anyone that sends their kids to sleepaway camp of sorts. I don’t know any person that goes camping with cabins and other kids and counselors. However, when I was a kid, my parents let me go to a camp with other kids and church leaders. It was NOT like Jesus Camp, just to make that clear. However, the camp eerily looked like the one in the Friday the 13th films. The idea of a slasher attacking people in a revenge scheme or just as a punisher of the wicked appeals to me in a sense, however, as an adult I’m not necessarily scared. While the film offers plenty of gore, and that in itself can scare many fragile minds (my mom for instance can’t see a horror movie cause she gets nightmares easily). However, the scary part of this film and all Friday the 13th films is two fold.
1) No one believes the truth. Tommy in this film knows Jason is alive and is killing again, however the police and those in charge of the camp do not believe it until it is too late to stop him. They then rely on Tommy to save them, and rightfully so. (Naturally you should remember that Tommy, played by Corey Feldman, killed Jason in part 5 of the series) This piece of the puzzle is the first and foremost scary notion in these films. While many might argue that the dumb police and dumb people have it coming, you might also consider that if you saw a similar act of violence set to the backdrop of an urban legend in your city, the police might not jump at the chance to hunt them down. Furthermore, it is scary to think that such hysteria is not treated with even an ounce of credibility and that to me is scary. To think that someday, maybe (even though I believe it’s farfetched), I might need to count on authorities for help, there is a chance that they won’t believe me, is scary. That portion of these films is far scarier than the slashing of so called “innocent” victims.
2)The second part of the horror of this film and therefore throwing a “scary” title on it, is the unstoppable nature of Jason Voorhees. They shoot him, they try to maim him, they even drown him and cut him with the propeller of a boat, and he doesn’t go down. I’m reminded of a Sam Raimi film called “The Quick and The Dead” in which one of the characters is a Native American that claims he can not be shot with bullets. He shows up for a gun fight and then is riddled with bullets and keeps on coming. You might also consider “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” and how much offense it takes to bring the villain down. This is a recurring theme in horror, having a villain seem nearly impossible to kill, and it lends itself well to video games too. This sort of reanimation is scary on a lot of levels. What if you can’t kill something that is attacking you? I was bit by a dog once, and I tried to beat it up to let go of my arm and it didn’t help. Eventually the owner got the dog away from my arm but the damage was done. I know that it’s hard to compare an animal to a horror movie villain, but Jason has no speech, has no real conscious, he’s just for the lack of a better word, a killing machine. To fight an evil and/or killer that just doesn’t die is insane and scary. This is true on the microscopic level too, imagine a disease you can not kill? (I’d say aids, but Magic Johnson seems to be fine)
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives is a scary movie, but not unless you think about it. Sure, over thinking such a “laughable” movie is not exactly why many people watch movies. However, I’m not the average movie watcher, and therefore I think about these things when watching stuff like this, or else why even watch it? If logic is applied to Jason Lives, then there’s no reason to even watch. Logically, this movie makes little sense, and even if you’re a believer in the supernatural or re-animation (which I don’t believe, unless you consider the Bible, which I’m not going reference right now, at least not more than I’ve already done by mentioning it), it still won’t work well for you.
I highly recommend Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives if you’re a fan of the series, however, do one of two things. Consider why this is a scary film, or simply grab some popcorn and turn off your brain because if you do not do either one of these things you will most likely hate seeing Jason Lives and you’ll end up thinking I’m a complete moron, which maybe the case.
Bonus Points: The film's main song was done by none other than Alice Cooper! That's right, the end credits roll and this infectious tune roles through and it's Alice Cooper! He's at his 80's best and it's funny to listen to, if you can find it. I wouldn't recommend the soundtrack to this film, but it's nice to see that the budget for the film at least garnered them with some new music from the legend of macabre theater music Alice Cooper. Make sure you take note of this, because you can use it for trivia down the road.
and here you go kiddies...the song I speak of:
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives will never look the same to you again, now will it? I still like this film, dang, it's 22 years old.
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